2006 MMOWTF Awards
Weekly Column by Dan Fortier
Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Staff Writer Dan Fortier. The column is called "MMOWTF" and will look at some of the stranger or more frustrating events in MMOs as seen by Mr. Fotier. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.
This week I decided that our Readers Choice Awards needed a little something extra. Today I'm opening voting for the First Annual MMOWTF Awards. Unlike the other show in this tent, my categories are a bit different than your usual fare. Let's face it, this past year has been pretty craptastic as far as MMORPGs go so I'm not exactly in the mood to jump for joy and praise the 'Best of the Year'. Keeping with my usual pessimist theme, the MMOWTF awards are going to give you all a chance to point the finger at the bottom of the pile and hold our collective noses.
The rules are pretty simple: There are seven categories in total and you will be voting for the game that best fits the title. Since this is the ghetto version we don't have fancy in-screen voting options so just place your picks in the Forum topic so it will be pretty obvious who wins. I'll be giving out my picks in next week's MMOWTF. Obviously a game can win multiple awards, but I designed the categories so it's unlikely that even an interactive vomiting simulator would win them all. Let's get started shall we?
It seems MMOs are always behind other genres in this category, but it shouldn't be to hard to pick the worst eyesore you've ever had to look at. To keep this fair let's make sure the game is at least 3D and looks extremely bad even on the highest settings. Consider how the games' avatars interact with the scenery and try to keep in mind when a game was made when making your decision as well since a recently released game with 1995 graphics should probably win over a game that was actually released back then.
Some games make you wish you were at work instead of playing them. The title that takes this moldy cake should be so wretchedly boring or frustrating that you have wiped your hard drive at least once to be rid of it. MMOs aren't the most action packed genre, but if you have ever actually fallen asleep or smashed your keyboard into pieces while fighting a monster or doing a quest then please nominate that game for us.
The game that you vote for here is the one with the most empty virtual world. Ever played a MMO that felt like a single player game? If you have ever wandered through empty streets in major cities or waited several days to find a group then it's a pretty good bet that game deserves a nomination here. I would give strong consideration to a game whose population has dropped rapidly rather than a niche game that never had big numbers. Some games divide up their player base through several servers so make sure that you are actually playing on an open one before you cast your vote.
Worst Use of a Popular IP or License
This award goes to the game that despite the backing and fanbase of a popular intellectual property, managed to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm going to do my best to avoid dropping names and fudge the balloting, but it's going to be hard. There are several possible candidates for this award, but try to give it to the one that completely betrayed the entire feeling of the original product. The winner should have not only made a mockery of the original, made it's creator roll over in his/her grave, (or wish they were dead) but also make it nearly impossible for any future product based on the idea to succeed. Choose wisely.
Most Shameless Developer
We all make mistakes, but the winner of this award will have actually brought the industry backwards and shame to their family for generations to come. The Developers are the guys who make the product we play so be careful to make a distinction between them and the producer who, in some cases, is a completely separate company. The guys who take this dishonor should do us all a favor and find a new line of work. We have a nice selection to choose from this year and it looks like no shortage in the foreseeable future.
Most Likely to be Cancelled in 2007
Who is the next in line to get axed? Sometimes a game doesn't have to be really horrible to get shut down. Sometimes the guys behind the scenes are smart enough to pull the plug before they get in over their heads. The game that wins this one could be hemorrhaging cash at a shocking rate or just happens to have producers with a quick hook. Whatever the reason, look into your crystal ball and vote the game most likely to go under, not necessarily the one that deserves it.
This is it, the big guacamole. The game that stood out in your mind as the worst game you have ever seen. Now if you were smart or cynical you probably never played it, but since this is the darkhorse of gaming awards you can even vote on hearsay! Some of you will know instantly which game deserves this award while others will most likely need hypno-therapy to recall the grisly details of this game-that-should-not-be.
Now you probably need to go take a shower to get rid of that dirty feeling you have and I don't blame you. These aren't awards you feel good about giving out. I can only hope that by shining a rusted flashlight on these roaches we can keep the rest of them at bay, at least until the battery runs out.
Now do your duty as a good opinionated gamer and mosey on over to the forums, place your vote for the worst of the year then laugh with your e-friends at the choices of your peers. I'll see you next week with a armful of punk-cards to hand out.